Hyundai Santa Fe Ad Shows All That is Wrong with Electric Vehicle Ownership Mentality

A recent TV ad is eliciting chuckles from most who see it.  When I watch it, I see both hypocrisy and an insatiably entitled mindset.

The ad, for the new Hyundai Santa Fe hybrid electric vehicle (EV), features a gentleman at a gas station, preparing to use a squeegee.  The attendant questions what he’s doing, and is told the squeegee is only for use by those purchasing gas.  The man lets the attendant know the Santa Fe is a hybrid, and after being told “no gas, no squeegee”, relents and ‘tops off’ his tank…for $.86.  That gives him the right to use the squeegee.

While the attendant’s antics seem heavy-handed (after all, who hasn’t used a squeegee in their lifetime without pumping gas?) the fact that there is celebration of the minuscule amount to fill the tank is noteworthy.

Arguments you hear from the pro-EV crowd almost always include the fact that emissions from EVs are non-existent, so they’re “better for the environment” versus combustion-engine vehicles. There is the mentality of EV owners that their vehicle (along with hybrids like the Santa Fe) give them a moral superiority compared to non-EV owners.  You see it in the commercial when the man stubbornly argues with the attendant that his Santa Fe doesn’t need to be filled up to use the station’s squeegee – after all, who would deny a Santa Fe owner anything?

EV owners, by and large, forget that the cars themselves use four times the copper of a non-EV, are made with additional critical mineral and rare earth elements, whose production is controlled by Communist China and countries without the US’s strict environmental standards, labor laws and ethical business practices. When we’re talking environmental impact, there’s more to it than what comes out of the tailpipe.

Simply put, the misguided belief that EV ownership is better for the Earth reflects poorly on anyone who might adhere to that reasoning, despite the slight-of-hand advertising in a Santa Fe commercial.


Rick Whitbeck is the Alaska State Director of Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @PTFAlaska.